Three notable daily newspapers – Tulsa World, Tallahassee Democrat and Dallas Morning News – have instituted metered paywalls that require monthly subscriptions. Each model varies, but the basic model follows a threshold of free content — 10 to 20 stories viewed for free per month, then a request for payment of $5 – $20 per month. (Never mind that this model is easy to get around — resetting browser cache restarts the meter.)
Two newspapers, Dallas and Tulsa, lead their markets (as of April, 2011) but risk losing market share to competing products. The risk of ceding market share, which has already happened in Tallahassee where WCTV has taken the lead, is that the newspaper may never get it back. Dropping to number two in the market = losing associated advertising revenue.
We’ll track those markets using compete.com widgets, with the caveat that compete.com aggregate totals may not be correct (i.e. visits may be higher than estimates shown here), but that trends are accurate .